There is never a dull moment when you assemble the NFL’s 32 owners In the same room, especially when one of those billionaires is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
During an owners-only session of the annual fall league meeting on Tuesday, Jones got into a heated exchange with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft over the subject of contract negotiations with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, per ESPN’s Seth Wickersham.
The owners had been preparing to vote over whether to permit their compensation committee to open negotiations on a new contract for Goodell. Jones was reportedly alone in opposing the measure, leading him to curse out Kraft:
The sources said Kraft joined the overwhelming majority in strong support for the measure, with Jones the lone dissenter in the owners-only session, eventually telling Kraft, “Don’t f— with me.”
Kraft replied, “Excuse me?”
“Don’t mess with me,” Jones said.
The measure eventually passed 31-1, per ESPN, with Jones being the lone “no” vote.
The exchange reflects Jones’ well-known opinion on Goodell. ace Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson ratingsthe NFL has enjoyed immense financial success since Goodell took over as commissioner in 2006, but Jones believes Goodell is merely enjoying the fruits of labor from past commissioners and owners (such as Jones).
The NFL certainly compensates Goodell like he is a major reason for his success. According to The New York Times, Goodell was paid $128 million combined for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
ESPN reports Jones believes the triggers for Goodell’s considerable bonus pool in a new contract will be too vague and not connected enough to the league’s financial goals:
“He believes in corporate good governance and wants accountability on the financial goals tied to Roger’s bonus,” said a league source familiar with Jones’ thinking. “He is sensitive to awarding a big bonus to Roger before he performs and earns it.” The source added that, in the past, Jones has thought Goodell’s financial targets were too “vague.”
Given that every other owner voted against him, Jones could be facing quite a headwind.
NFL owners meeting has been eventful, to say the least
Usually, one of the NFL’s most powerful owners cursing out another of its most powerful owners over the compensation of its commissioner would be the big story of the owners’ meetings, but it was merely a side story on Tuesday.
Before Jones’ words with Kraft were reported, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay drew all the nearby eyeballs by saying there was merit to removing embattled Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder from the league’s ranks.
Snyder, never a popular figure in the NFL except among his team’s rivals, is currently under investigation for sexual misconduct and has been immersed in scandal for years over workplace misconduct allegations. The situation escalated even further last week when Snyder was reported to have “dirt” against the NFL’s power brokers with a threat of mutually assured destruction.
The Cowboys and Commanders might be rivals, but their owners certainly seem to agree on the message of “don’t f*** with me.”